4-year-old Kills Deputy’s Wife at Cookout

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boy-gunWILSON COUNTY, Tenn. — A 4-year-old Tennessee boy picked up a loaded gun and it went off, killing the wife of a sheriff’s deputy at a family cookout, state police said Monday.

Josephine Fanning, 48, and her husband, Wilson County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Fanning, were entertaining family and friends at their Lebanon, Tenn., home Saturday evening, Tennessee state police spokeswoman Kristin Helm told the Los Angeles Times, when Daniel Fanning started showing his guns to a friend in his bedroom.

A 4-year-old boy at the cookout walked into the room with Josephine Fanning and picked up a loaded handgun from the bed and it went off, Helm said.

Officials think the shooting was an accident but are investigating in case prosecutors decide to file charges.

“It’s a sad, sad set of circumstances,” Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan told WSMV-TV.

“Nobody is immune to this — nobody. It doesn’t matter if you are a law enforcement officer. These things can happen in seconds.”

About 600 Americans die in accidental shootings every year, according to National Center for Injury Prevention and Control statistics, and about 31,000 Americans die of gunshot wounds each year.

Matt Pearce, L.A. Times

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  • Ktla1107

    Sad, guns should not be placed in areas where children, immature,and mentally disabled can access it.
    Guns should not be banned, but the issue needs to be addressed by politicians. Limit quantity of guns sold, offer an educational program for gun owners.
    People need to know how to use and store firearms. Sad, cops don't know standards to store weapons.

  • mysteryalaska

    Well, if the gun was SAFELY stored this wouldn't have happened. Geezzzz people need to watch their children.

  • hopeisallwegot

    This deputy should have known better than to leave a loaded gun on the bed, especially when he had house guests. Unfortunate.

  • BrianOC7

    This is the second one this week. A 4 year old shot a 6 year old in New Jersey. I will never understand the love people have for guns. WHY would you keep loaded guns inside your house?

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